Phil Stern, Photographer to Stars, Dies at 95

Photographer Phil Stern, known for his candid shots of Hollywood stars and jazz musicians, has died.

Stern died Saturday in Los Angeles at the age of 95 after an extended hospital stay.

Stern worked as a combat photographer for the Army newspaper “Stars and Stripes” during World War II, where he served as a U.S. Army Ranger in the North African and Italian campaigns.

He settled in Los Angeles after the war and became a staff photographer for Look magazine. He also worked as one of Life magazine’s top Hollywood photographers.

Among the iconic stars he photographed were Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, James Dean and John Wayne. He also shot album covers including for Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Stern was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants to the United States, and grew up in New York.

Stern did not believe that he or other photographers could be considered artists. “Matisse I ain’t,” he is widely quoted as saying.

His work has been displayed for decades at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Phil Stern, Photographer to Stars, Dies at 95

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close